Unsafe levels of weed killer chemical found in cereals marketed - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Unsafe levels of weed killer chemical found in cereals marketed to children: report

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WSIL -- Some types of oat cereals, oatmeal, granola and snack bars contain higher levels of a chemical found in the weed killer Roundup than what the Environmental Working Group considers safe, according to a report released Wednesday by the advocacy group.

Almost three-quarters of food samples tested showed higher glyphosate levels than what the group's scientists believe to be "protective of children's health," the report indicates.

Popular children items, including General Mills’ Cheerios, Lucky Charm’s, Kellogg’s Cracklin’ Oat Bran, Quaker Chewy Chocolate Chip granola bar, and Quaker’s Old Fashioned Oats, all had levels exceeding EWG’s safety guidelines.

Last week, a jury at the Superior Court of California in San Francisco awarded $289 million in damages to a groundskeeper whose attorney argued that Roundup, a weed killer made by Monsanto, caused his terminal cancer.

"We will appeal this decision and continue to vigorously defend this product, which has a 40-year history of safe use and continues to be a vital, effective and safe tool for farmers and others," Monsanto Vice President Scott Partridge said in a statement at the time.

"More than 800 scientific studies, the US EPA, the National Institutes of Health and regulators around the world have concluded that glyphosate is safe for use and does not cause cancer," Partridge said.

However, the human health effects of glyphosate remain uncertain, because the product has additional chemical ingredients that, individually or combined, might be carcinogenic, among other reasons. Many scientists and scientific organizations, including the US Environmental Protection Agency, state that in the amounts commonly consumed in food, glyphosate is not harmful to human health.

On the other hand, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, the cancer agency that falls under the World Health Organization, classifies glyphosate as "probably carcinogenic to humans."

"Not every health agency in the world and not every spokesperson in the world has agreed that glyphosate can cause cancer," said Olga Naidenko, the Environmental Working Group's senior science adviser for children's health.

However, Naidenko, who was not an author of the report, believes that there are "conflicts of interest standing behind some" of the positive opinions of glyphosate and that Monsanto has tried to influence the EPA so that it will continue to allow use of the chemical in the United States.

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